Meet Suka and Sakari, the Zoo’s Newly Named Polar Bear Cubs

Posted May 3rd, 2013 by Andi Norman  Category: Community Interest


The Toledo Zoo’s twin polar bear cubs are ready to make their big splash – starting with new names! After nearly 3,000 entries in the Zoo’s naming contest, Suka (female cub) won by more than 400 votes; Sakari (male cub) won by more than 750 votes.

Suka and Sakari aren’t the only ones walking away from the contest with something new. From the winning entries, two random winners were drawn: Brenda Osbourne of Maumee, Ohio, and Evan Wilt of Maumee, Ohio. Each of them wins a one-year Zoo family membership, enrollment in the Zoo PAL animal adoption program and a big basket of “bear-tastic” gifts.

The Name the Polar Bear Cubs contest, sponsored by 13abc, The Blade and Cumulus Toledo, began on April 16 and ended on May 1 at 12 noon. People submitted entries online, in person at the Zoo’s North Star Trading Post® and KC’s Corner gift shops, and through a mail-in ballot printed in The Blade.

Suka and Sakari were born on November 21, 2012. They are two of just three cubs born in 2012 at North American zoos accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA), and they are the only cubs in the country being raised by their mother.

Starting Friday, May 3, visitors will be able to see Suka and Sakari in the Zoo’s Arctic Encounter®. Pending the animals’ continued good progress, they are scheduled to be on exhibit daily from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., though they may be off exhibit periodically depending on their needs or weather conditions. Come see them while they’re still little!

The Zoo’s cubs have an important future as ambassadors for a species, protected under the Endangered Species Act, which faces grave threats in their native habitat. Human activities have a direct effect on polar bears, and their plight should encourage all of us to decrease our carbon footprint.

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